Imagine having a major heart attack while in your early 50s, then finding yourself in the midst of another one a few years later and being rushed into heart surgery. This might not sound like a prescription for a long, healthy life but Monroe resident Harry Stone credits what he calls a "super deluxe triple bypass" performed by Emory Heart Center cardiothoracic surgeon Joseph Craver, MD, at Emory Crawford Long Hospital (ECLH) 29 years ago -- plus a change in lifestyle that has included regular exercise for decades -- for his current healthy, active life at age 82.
Mr. Stone recalls how his physician accompanied him to ECLH on October 1, l975, as soon as the doctor realized his patient was having another heart attack. "They found I have very small arteries and the only doctor at that time willing to do a bypass on me was Dr. Craver," Mr. Stone says. "I will always be grateful for him for doing such a great job and I send him a card every few years to let him know I'm still doing well."
After his bypass, Mr. Stone began working out at a local fitness center. "I still go at least three times a week," he says. "And my wife and I go dancing at the American Legion every Saturday night which is also good exercise."
Formerly the owner of a plumbing business, Mr. Stone now has a new career impersonating Uncle Sam. Dressed in full Uncle Sam regalia, he has appeared on "Good Morning, America", "Today" and in countless parades and festivals around the state. On October 12th, he and his wife, Jeannette, celebrated their second wedding anniversary, five days before he turned 82 years "young".
"Some people say my middle name should be 'go'," says Mr. Stone, who included a picture of himself and his wife dancing the hula in Hawaii with his last card to Dr. Craver. "Being active and exercising is the key to staying healthy. I feel great and I attribute it to both Dr. Craver's great job on my bypass, and my regular workouts."
"It is always a pleasure for physicians and surgeons to hear from patients treated many years ago and to learn that they are still doing well. Twenty-nine years after his coronary artery bypass surgery, Mr. Stone is remarkably fit, healthy, and active. This is largely attributable to the efforts that he has made to optimize his lifestyle and cardiac risk factors," says Dr. Craver. "I wish more patients would expend similar efforts and could be sending me pictures of them hula dancing in Hawaii twenty plus years after their corrective heart surgery. Good job and congratulations, Mr. Stone!"